BONN (Mar. 18)
The German-Israel reparations pact was passed today by the Bundestag, Lower House of the West German Parliament, and was returned to the Upper House which last month approved the agreement. The Upper House will act on it on Friday, after which the measure will be signed by President Theodore Heuss and officially promulgated.
Today’s vote in the Bundestag was 238 to 34. There were 86 abstentions. Voting in favor of ratification were the members of the two major political parties – Chancellor Adenauer’s Christian Democratic Party and the Social Democratic Party. Those who abstained from voting included members of the Free Democratic Party, the German Party and the Bavarian Party. Voting against the ratification were the Communist deputies, as well as a number of unreconstructed Nazis. A strong speech against the agreement was delivered by the leader of the neo-Nazi group in the Parliament.
Professor Carlo Schmid, speaking on behalf of the Social Democrats, voiced the expectation of his party that the West German Government will, through an economic agreement, improve Germany’s traditional friendship toward the Arabs. The Social Democratic Party, he said, hopes that the world will recognize the German reparations as a token compensation to the Jews for the “appalling barbarism,” of the Nazi regime. He urged the Germans “to await patiently the hand of free conciliation from the children and the comrades of the victims of Nazi barbarism.”
GERMANY AND ISRAEL WILL EXCHANGE DOCUMENTS THROUGH UN
It is expected here that the Israel Parliament will now ratify the pact. Since diplomatic relations do not exist between Germany and Israel, the instruments of ratification of both countries will be exchanged through the offices of United Nations Secretary General Trygve Lie. They will be handed to Mr. Lie at UN headquarters in New York by representatives of each of the states.
In the meantime, it was reported here today that 500 individual proceedings against the former Nazi government and the city of Nuremberg for the restitution of confiscated Jewish property are pending at present. In addition, the Jewish Restitution Successor Organization has registered 1,500 other claims. In February, 1939, all Jewish citizens of this city were compelled to deposit all articles of jewelry, gold and silver in the city’s official pawnshop on orders of the Nazi authorities.